BOSSES are believed to be planning to close an Ellesmere Port factory with the loss of up to 200 jobs.
In a letter to staff on Thursday Tony Tappy, interim managing director of Sankey Scott Laminations in Cromwell Road, says: 'The UK laminations business is in a critical financial situation.
'The company has actively worked to address and improve the financial position. However, the financial results continue to be extremely disappointing and cannot be sustained.'
He adds: 'To date the company cannot see any other alternative than to close the site.
'It is with regret the company confirms it wishes to enter into formal 90-day consultation with Amicus regarding the potential closure.'
The firm, which makes laminations for electrical motors, also has a factory in the Midlands but says it is no longer viable to keep both open.
Amicus regional officer Graham Daley, who met with the company on Tuesday, said: 'The timing couldn't be worse. It's a cruel blow to the loyal, hardworking people in Ellesmere Port. We will fight to keep it open.
'We have another meeting with the company on Monday where they'll hopefully be coming back with reasons for closing the factory and a guarantee that workers will get decent compensation if it does close.'
He also said the union intends to ballot for possible industrial action.
Borough MP Andrew Miller blasted the company, describing the decision to make the announcement so close to Christmas as an 'utter disgrace'.
He added: 'The company have not had the courtesy of telling me the plans, that is exceptionally unusual. The workforce must stand firm.'
And a worker from the plant who wished not to be named said: 'There are people who have worked there 30 or 40 years. This is worse than when HH Robertson's closed in the 1990s. It stinks.'
Managing director Mr Tappy has so far been unavailable for comment.